Celebrating Nelson Mandela Day with 6 Philanthropic Keynote Speakers
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela
Mandela Day is celebrated annually on 18 July. A day dedicated to reflecting on what has been done in the past, and evaluating what needs to be done moving forward.
A selection of goals has been set by the foundation for the 2019-2020 year surrounding Education & Literacy, Food & Nutrition, Shelter, Sanitation and Active Citizenship. With these topics in mind, we dove into our little book of contacts to find some of our top speakers who dedicate their lives to fight for those who are unable to.
Without further ado, let me introduce you to some inspirational philanthropists .
Malala & Ziauddin Yousafzai
A story not new to many, Malala Yousafzai received the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her efforts to see every girl complete 12 years of free, safe, quality education. Enrolled in her father’s school at the age of 4, Malala began her campaign for girls’ education at age 11 with her anonymous blog for the BBC, Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl, about life under the Taliban.
Malala soon began advocating publicly for girls’ education by joining her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, a humanitarian and educator, on his visits to neighbouring villages to recruit for the school. While he spoke to the men, she would speak to the women. Their crusade was the subject of a New York Times short documentary in 2009.
Due to her increased prominence, at age 15 she was attacked by the Taliban for speaking out. Malala recovered in the United Kingdom and has continued her fight for girls ever since. In 2013, she founded Malala Fund with her father. She is truly a bucket-list speaker, whose story will continue to inspire for generations to come.
As a campaigner for numerous causes throughout the world, Sir Bob Geldof uses his high profile to great effect. From African famines to business and global politics, Sir Bob has raised awareness of a wide range of issues.
Rising to fame thanks to his music career with The Boomtown Rats, Sir Bob soon turned his attention to charity, organising Band Aid and the fundraising event Live Aid.
In light of his charity work, he received a knighthood in 1986. Through his co-ownership of Planet 24, a production company that launched The Big Breakfast in 1992, Sir Bob became recognised as an astute businessman. Sir Bob has received a number of awards, including the ‘Nobel Man of Peace Award’, several Honorary Doctorates and a number of Nobel Peace Prize nominations.
He uses his experiences to talk in a provocative and entertaining way about a variety of topics.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus harness the power of the free market to solve the problems of poverty, hunger, and inequality.
In 1976, Muhammad started to experiment with providing collateral free loans to the poor. The project was called Grameen Bank Project, and eventually it became a full-fledged bank for providing loans to the poor, mostly women, in rural Bangladesh.
The concept of social business is defined as a non-dividend company dedicated to solving social problems, such as healthcare, education, sanitation, water pollution, unemployment, environmental degradation, and so on. His microcredit idea has spread to almost all the countries of the world, including the industrialized countries of the West.
In 2006, Professor Muhammad and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He is one of the seven individuals to have received this accolade in conjunction with the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom and the United States Congressional Gold Medal.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams is a human rights activist and keynote speaker who travels the world expounding her wisdom and lobbying for improvements in human rights and global security.
Jody controlled the ICBL's growth to more than 1,300 organisations in 95 countries and their efforts to eliminate antipersonnel landmines. She was honoured only one week after a historic treaty banning landmines was signed by 122 nations.
She is Chair of the Nobel Women's Initiative which she founded to provide support to women working for peace with justice and equality, and in 2004, she was named by Forbes as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world.
Jody’s wealth of experience makes her the ideal choice to talk around topics on social change, security and human rights.
An internationally recognized culinary innovator, who has received the industry’s highest honours, José Andres is a creative visionary who has infused his pure energy, brilliance and fun into many of the most trendsetting restaurants but also as a tireless advocate for food and hunger issues.
A champion for the role of chefs in the national debate on food policy, Andrés is called on regularly to speak on a variety of issues revolving around hunger, food security, nutrition education and childhood obesity. In 2014, he was awarded Refugees International’s McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award for his work in combating hunger worldwide.
He has spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos, The Atlantic, The Economist and the Clinton Global Initiative and was recently bestowed the Honorary Doctorate of Public Service at George Washington University, where he also delivered the 2014 commencement address.
One of the most impressive and inspirational entrepreneurs in the world, Marc Koska OBE fought to stop the reuse of syringes for decades. He faced and broke down bureaucratic barriers to fight one of the most virulent contributors to the spread of AIDS, with his WHO endorsed non-reusable syringe.
At 23 his lightbulb moment came when he read that the deadly practice of reusing syringes was spreading the virus through millions of people in Africa like wildfire. It took Marc all of three minutes to design a syringe that breaks when it’s been used, but seventeen years to manufacture, patent and distribute the K1 Auto-Disable.
In 1996, he co-founded Star Syringe to license the technology to manufacturers and since 2001 over 2.5 billion K1 syringes have been sold around the world, resulting in the prevention of an estimated 10 million infections, and more than 8 million lives have been saved. In 2006, he was awarded his OBE in the New Year’s Honour list for his ‘Contribution to Global Healthcare’.
Arguably some of the most selfless and inspirational people in the fight for humanity, these philanthropists are standing up and tackling different challenges that the world is facing. Leaving any audience full of inspiration and admiration, these incredible people are following in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, campaigning to make the world a better place.
Here’s to Mandela Day, changing the world for the better.
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